Cloud9 Blue seem to have found Josh ‘shinobi’ Abastado’s replacement quickly. The North American organisation have reportedly signed Nathan ‘leaf’ Orf to their primary Valorant roster. This isn’t a report but more of a confirmation, thanks to Mitch ‘mitch’ Semago, who accidentally showed (now deleted) Cloud9 Blue’s discord server, which had leaf as a member under the Players role.
Leaf is widely considered the newest prodigy of the North American Counter Strike scene, having been associated with Chaos Esports for the longest of times. The organisation though, chose to dissolve their CSGO roster, which meant the youngster had to look for offers and a new team to call home.
And by the looks of it, the 17-year-old has not only changed teams but ended up switching esports titles, entering the Valorant scene by filling up the void left by shinobi in Cloud9 Blue.
There is still the question of how Cloud9 Blue will be able to replace shinobi in terms of shot-calling. However, Skyler ‘Relyks’ Weaver has previous experience as an IGL during his time as a csgo professional and the 25-year-old might take over the reins from shinobi, with leaf being brought in to add more firepower and help Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo, who has been topping the charts for Cloud9 Blue by a country mile thus far on the servers.
Leaf already stood in for Cloud9 Blue at the JBL Quantum Cup but had a forgetful start to his competitive Valorant career as the team bowed out of Group B without winning a single map. Leaf played different heroes on each map, trying out Cypher, Breach and Reyna.
The 17-year-old ended the JBL Quantum Cup with an accumulative Kill/Death score of 28/49 and will be hoping he can massively improve upon his showing once he settles down within the Valorant ecosystem.
Leaf’s transition to Valorant will be another huge blow to the North American Counter Strike scene, with the region already suffering several setbacks and no longer considered a sustainable region. Another prodigy lost by the csgo scene; another huge scalp for Valorant.